Captain Douglas Charles WHITFIELD

Service No: VX47450 (Australian Army)
Born: Launceston TAS, 15 March 1911
Enlisted in the Army: 18 July 1940 (at Caulfield VIC)
Unit: 2/7th Australian General Hospital
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-24), off Bowen, 17 August 1943, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Charles and Mary Rose Whitfeld; husband of Joyce Elizabeth Whitfeld, of Casterton, Victoria. M.P.S.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 1, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 88, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Following a gunnery practice flight, Catalina aircraft A24-24 crashed and sank 8 kms off the coast near Bowen, Queensland at about 1630 hours on 17 August 1943. On landing on choppy seas, the port wing struck the water, causing the crash. On board were the crew members:

Sergeant Raymond Charles Ciglander (426048) (Navigator)
Sergeant Leslie George Dalgleish (12240) (Fitter IIA, Air Gunner)
Leading Aircraftman Ainslie Ivor Dent (20387) (Fitter IIE, Air Gunner)
Aircraftman Class 1 Cyril Leslie Edwards (72589) (Armourer, Air Gunner) Uninjured, Discharged from the RAAF: 24 December 1945
Sergeant Robin Fowler (11071) (Fitter IIE, Air Gunner) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 October 1945
Flying Officer Peter Keene (416430) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Stanley John Porteous (410419) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Harold Stuart William Thomas (427166) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

and eight Australian Army members, all of whom were killed:

Sergeant Lloyd George Fiske (VX40288) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Staff Sergeant Leslie Harry Harrison (VX38770) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Sergeant Robert Ronald Harrison (TX2696) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Private Douglas McLaine (VX126184) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Private Irvine George Osborne (VX124121) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Captain Lawrence Edward Tansey (NX200513) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Private Kenneth Reginald Walker (VX124120) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)
Captain Douglas Charles Whitfield (VX47450) (2/7th Australian General Hospital)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 145; B883, VX47450


McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991

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